Gov’t Asked to Establish Regional Cancer Registries

Francis Okongo, the Cancer Registrar of Gulu Cancer Registry told URN in an interview that Cancer Registries should be established in all the regions so that the regional variations in cancer incidents can be taken care of.
Government has been tasked to establish Cancer Registries in all the regions across Uganda.

Currently, there are only two registries in Uganda in Kampala and Gulu Cancer registries.   For Kampala Registry, it only covers Kyadondo County while Gulu Registry covers Gulu, Amuru, Nwoya, and Omoro.

Francis Okongo, the Cancer Registrar of Gulu Cancer Registry says that the regional registries are important because it helps that particular region to come up with a targeted intervention according to the burden of Cancer in that particular region.

 A population-based Cancer Registry registers all Cancer cases in a well-defined geographical location, to monitor the incident of Cancer in the region like; the common type of Cancer, the ages affected the most, in order to come up with an intervention by the various stakeholders. 

William Onyai, the Gulu District Health Educator revealed that for Gulu District, has statistics on Cancer collected from various Health Centres that are able to diagnose it. Hesaid they keep the statistics in the District Health Management Information System. 

Emmanuel Ainebyoona, the Communications Officer in the Ministry of Health revealed that plans are underway to establish Regional Cancer Centres across the country. He added that the Centres will ensure that accurate data on Cancer incidents are captured. 

According to Cancer report of 2016 by the Gulu Cancer Registry; out of the total population of 771,514 in Amuru, Nwoya, Omoro and Gulu, 1,627 were found to have Cancer out of which 983 were female and 644 males.  

The report also further stated that the top three types of Cancer which is more common in Acholi Sub-Region are; cervical, prostate and breast.

Cancers killed 22,000 Ugandans in 2018. Early this year, Dr Jackson Orem, the director of Uganda Cancer Institute (UCI) said that the high number of deaths was mainly due to late diagnosis.